Many of us in the goth scene solidified our identities some time in our early teens. Personally, I was in middle school and high school when I first started listening to heavier music and wearing darker clothes. That's also when I found a group of friends who shared similar tastes. But after graduating, I found it more difficult to stay involved in the subculture. Some people even think that goth is something you're supposed to give up after a certain age. Perhaps this is why goth is "just a phase" for some people; it's no longer just as simple as finding the other kids dressed in all black and sitting with them in the cafeteria. Once you're an adult, there's more pressure to blend in and be "professional." But that doesn't mean that being goth is just for teens. Here are some of the ways that I've found of making goth part of my everyday life, even as an adult.
This is often the hardest part—continuing to express your gothic side while working a serious job. If you work in an office, this may mean you're limited to a Corporate Goth style. The good news is, the color black is always professional! You can never go wrong with black slacks and a nice black or dark-colored shirt or blouse. I also like to throw in some black or pinstripe pencil skirts and black cardigans. Since my office is a little more casual, I can also get away with work-appropriate sun dresses in dark colors.
Congrats, you're finally old enough to go to the goth clubs! (Many clubs are 18+, though some are 21+.) But clubbing isn't all there is to socializing as an adult goth. In fact, depending on your work schedule, dancing until the wee hours may not always be feasible. In that case, there are still plenty of spooky activities you can do with friends during the daylight hours. I like to go to macabre museums like the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, or smaller pop-up exhibits on topics like Victorian mourning fashion or the history of horror film. You can also sometimes find fun themed events or readings at your local library. Join or start a horror-themed book club. Bring a friend along or use these opportunities to meet others who share your macabre interests, but might otherwise be blending in among the professionally dressed multitude.
One of the great things about being an adult is that you'll (hopefully) finally have the money and independence required to travel. No more parents dragging you to family shore visits. Instead, plan your own morbid vacations! When on a smaller budget, I like to hop on a bus and visit spooky destinations that are not too far from me like Salem, Massachusetts. If you've got the chance to travel abroad, there are plenty of macabre destinations to choose from (or death-stinations, as my favorite Youtuber Caitlin Doughty likes to call them). I once arranged for myself a death-themed tour of Paris involving the catacombs and the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, and ended the night at an absinthe bar. You can also visit elaborate ossuaries, like the Basilica of St. Ursula in Germany, Gothic churches like the Reims Cathedral in France, or famous tombs like those in Westminster Abbey.
Do you find that being goth as an adult is different from when you were a teen? How do you stay active in scene and continue to express your goth side? Let me know in the comments!